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Archives Of Weight Watcher's Blog From Medicineworld.Org


August 24, 2009, 10:23 PM CT

Why Weight Watchers succeed

Why Weight Watchers succeed
Weight Watchers is the world's largest support group, with more than 1.5 million members worldwide. What makes overweight consumers turn to this organization for help? A newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research says dieters are attracted to its combination of spirituality and treatment.

Authors Risto Moisio (California State University, Long Beach) and Mariam Beruchashvili (California State University, Northridge) undertook observations of weekly Weight Watchers meetings and conducted interviews with female members and group leaders. They conclude that Weight Watchers provides a powerful service to its clientele.

"Even if Weight Watchers' advertisements make it sound as if it were only about weight loss, the social function of weekly meetings extends far beyond the tricks of the weight loss trade," write the authors.

Interviewing members and observing meetings taught the scientists that Weight Watchers aids dieters' pursuit of well-being in a world that fails to understand them. "Pursuing weight loss is an immensely daunting project fraught with a number of troubles, whether psychological, social, or physical. To overcome these challenges, consumers turn to Weight Watchers".

Members of Weight Watchers seek to alleviate a number of psychological traumas they link to their struggles with weight, the authors found. "As consumers evolve into full-fledged Weight Watchers members, the support group becomes their spiritual and therapeutic companion," the authors write.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


August 19, 2009, 7:19 AM CT

Neurons that control obesity in fruit flies

Neurons that control obesity in fruit flies
A team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have pinpointed two groups of neurons in fruit fly brains that have the ability to sense and manipulate the fly's fat stores in much the same way as do neurons in the mammalian brain. The existence of this sort of control over fat deposition and metabolic rates makes the flies a potentially useful model for the study of human obesity, the scientists note.

Their findings were reported in the August 13 issue of the journal Neuron

By manipulating neural activity in fruit fly brains using transgenic techniques, the scientists observed that, "just as in mammals, fly fat-store levels are measured and controlled by specific neurons in the brain," says Caltech postdoctoral scholar Bader Al-Anzi, the Neuron paper's first author. "Silencing these neurons created obese flies, while overactivating them produced lean flies".

Mammalian brains are given information about the body's fat stores by hormones such as leptin and insulin, and respond to that information by inducing changes in food intake and metabolism to maintain a constant body weight. The scientists observed that similar behavioral and metabolic changes occurred in the fruit flies, though which changes occurred depended on which of the two sets of newly identified neurons was silenced.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


July 31, 2009, 0:19 AM CT

Low short-term risks after bariatric surgery

Low short-term risks after bariatric surgery
Short-term complications and death rates were low following bariatric surgery to limit the amount of food that can enter the stomach, decrease absorption of food or both, as per the Longitudinal Evaluation of Bariatric Surgery (LABS-1). The study was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. Results are published in the July 30 issue of the New England Journal (NEJM)

Less than 1 percent (0.3 percent) of patients died within 30 days of surgery, further supporting the short-term safety of bariatric surgery as a therapy for patients with extreme obesity.

Bariatric surgery can have dramatic health benefits--such as improved blood sugar control or even reversal of type 2 diabetes. But it also carries serious risks, including death. The LABS-1 study aimed to evaluate the short-term safety of bariatric surgery to help doctors and patients understand the risks.

"Evaluating the 30-day safety outcomes of bariatric surgery in large populations is an essential step forward," as per co-author Myrlene Staten, M.D., senior advisor for diabetes translation research at NIDDK, part of NIH. "And LABS-1 data are from all patients who had their procedure performed by a surgeon participating in the study, not from just a select few patients".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 29, 2009, 11:21 PM CT

Health benefits of physical activity more pronounced in women

Health benefits of physical activity more pronounced in women
A number of experimental studies have observed that physical exercise can improve cholesterol levels and subsequently decrease the risks of cardiovascular disease; however, few of these studies have included enough participant diversity to provide ethnic breakdowns. Now, a long-term study of over 8,700 middle-aged men and women provides race- and gender- specific data on the cholesterol effects of physical activity, with the interesting result that women, especially African-American women, experience greater benefits as a result of exercise than men.

The analysis of this large Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, which appears in the recent issue of Journal of Lipid Research, was carried out by Keri Monda and his colleagues at North Carolina and Baylor. They observed that over a 12 year period, all individuals who increased their exercise by about 180 metabolic units per week (equivalent to an additional hour of mild or 30 minutes of moderate activity per week) displayed decreased levels of triglycerides and increased levels of the "good" HDL cholesterol. However, statistically significant decreases in the "bad" LDL cholesterol were only observed in women, with especially strong effects in menopausal women and African-American women. And total cholesterol levels were only significantly decreased in African-American women.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 23, 2009, 11:57 PM CT

The Sea food and 'See food' diet

The Sea food and  'See food' diet
Current research suggests that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent one of the leading causes of legal blindness among the elderly. The related report by Tuo et al, "A high omega-3 fatty acid diet reduces retinal lesions in a murine model of macular degeneration," appears in the August 2009 issue of the American Journal of Pathology

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), loss of vision in the center of the visual field (macula) due to retinal damage, is one of the leading causes of legal blindness among the elderly. Approximately 10% of people from 66 to 74 years of age will develop some level of macular degeneration, making it difficult for them to read or even recognize faces.

A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids has been found to protect against a variety of diseases including atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Retrospective studies have suggested that diets high in fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids may also contribute to protection against AMD. A group led by Dr. Chi-Chao Chan at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, MD examined the direct effect of omega-3 fatty acids on a mouse model of AMD. A diet with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids resulted in slower lesion progression, with improvement in some lesions. These mice had lower levels of inflammatory molecules and higher levels of anti-inflammatory molecules, which may explain this protective effect.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 21, 2009, 11:21 PM CT

New insights into the causes of anorexia

New insights into the causes of anorexia
New imaging technology provides insight into abnormalities in the brain circuitry of patients with anorexia nervosa (usually known as anorexia) that may contribute to the puzzling symptoms found in people with the eating disorder. In a review paper published on line in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Walter Kaye, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues describe dysfunction in certain neural circuits of the brain which may help explain why people develop anorexia in the first place, and behaviors such as the relentless pursuit of dieting and weight loss.

"Currently, we don't have very effective means of treating people with anorexia," said Kaye. "Consequently, a number of patients with the disorder remain ill for years or eventually die from the disease, which has the highest death rate of any psychiatric disorder."

A better understanding of the underlying neurobiology how behavior is coded in the brain and contributes to anorexia is likely to result in more effective therapys, as per the researchers.

Childhood personality and temperament may increase an individual's vulnerability to developing anorexia. Predisposing factors, some suspected to be inherited, such according tofectionism, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive tendencies may precede the onset of an eating disorders. These traits become intensified during adolescence as a consequence of a number of factors such as hormonal changes, stress and culture.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 16, 2009, 11:56 PM CT

Edible coating makes fish filets longer-lasting, healthier

Edible coating makes fish filets longer-lasting, healthier
Consumers appears to be able to eat longer-lasting, potentially healthier fish fillets if research at Oregon State University makes its way to the supermarket.

That's because OSU researchers have extended the shelf life of lingcod fillets and possibly made them more nutritious by dipping them into an edible, protective coating enriched with fish oil.

"With this coating, you can easily keep the fillets in the display case for two to three more days," said OSU food science professor Yanyun Zhao, the lead researcher in the study.

The liquid coating contained chitosan, which comes from crustacean shells and can be made into film for food wrapping to keep out bacteria and fungi and prolong storage life. What's unusual about the OSU study is that fish oil was added to the chitosan coating, which wasn't visible once it dried. After the coating was applied, some fillets were refrigerated for three weeks while others were frozen for three months.

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Food Chemistry and has been published on its Web site, observed that the coating tripled the omega-3 fatty acids in the refrigerated and frozen fish when compared against the uncoated fish.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients, and research suggests that increasing them may have many health benefits. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says specific ones may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. But questions still remain about how these fatty acids might prevent or treat certain diseases.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 16, 2009, 11:54 PM CT

Obesity and adolescents' social networks

Obesity and adolescents' social networks
Scientists from the Institute of Prevention Research at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) found in a recent study that overweight youth were twice as likely to have overweight friends.

"Eventhough this link between obesity and social networks was expected, it was surprising how strong the peer effect is and how early in life it starts," says main author Thomas Valente, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine.

The study appears in the recent issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, available online July 20 at http://journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/jah/home.

Prior data had shown a correlation between overweight adults and their social peers. However, the USC study used more advanced statistical modeling techniques than prior research and the association remained strong, Valente says.

"The findings certainly raise health concerns because when kids start associating only with others who have a similar weight status it can reinforce the negative behaviors that cause obesity," he says.

In-school surveys were conducted among 617 students ages 11-13 from the greater Los Angeles area. In addition to finding that overweight adolescents were more likely to have overweight friends than their normal-weight peers, the scientists also observed that overweight girls were more likely to name more friends, but less likely to be named as a friend than normal-weight girls.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 14, 2009, 7:45 AM CT

Promoting physical exercise in adults

Promoting physical exercise in adults
A study published this week in the open access journal PLoS Medicine has observed that of six interventions promoting exercise in adults in Australia, encouraging the use of pedometers simple step counting devices that can be used as a motivational tool and promoting physical activity through mass media campaigns are the most cost-effective in terms of the money spent for the health benefits they result in. Considered as a package, scientists at the University of Queensland also conclude that these six interventions could reduce death and illness from heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes in Australia, with an overall cost saving for the health sector.

Despite its image as a sporting nation, physical inactivity in Australia, in common with a number of countries in the developed world and an increasing number of developing countries, is a major public health problem. The World Health Organisation recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity which could just be brisk walking five times per week, but at least 60% of Australia's population does not even do this modest amount. In Australia, physical inactivity leads to 10% of all deaths, largely as a result of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and globally it is thought to cause 1.9 million deaths per year.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 14, 2009, 7:42 AM CT

Obesity contributes to rapid cartilage loss

Obesity contributes to rapid cartilage loss
Obesity, among other factors, is strongly linked to an increased risk of rapid cartilage loss, as per a research studyreported in the recent issue of Radiology

"We have isolated demographic and MRI-based risk factors for progressive cartilage loss," said the study's main author, Frank W. Roemer, M.D., adjunct associate professor at Boston University and co-director of the Quantitative Imaging Center at the Department of Radiology at Boston University School of Medicine. "Increased baseline body mass index (BMI) was the only non-MRI-based predictor identified".

Tibio-femoral cartilage is a flexible connective tissue that covers and protects the bones of the knee. Cartilage damage can occur due to excessive wear and tear, injury, misalignment of the joint or other factors, including osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting 27 million Americans, as per the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down and, in severe cases, can completely wear away, leaving the joint without a cushion. The bones rub together, causing further damage, significant pain and loss of mobility.

The best way to prevent or slow cartilage loss and subsequent disability is to identify risk factors early.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Exercise can't stop the aging process, but experts at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston say that for the elderly, whether it's weight training, walking, swimming or biking, 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week is a good prescription for aging."It's never too late to start exercising," said Dr. Robert Roush, an associate professor of medicine-geriatrics at BCM. "Being physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay some diseases and disabilities as people age.".

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